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hours. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i'm jim marshall the new president of the substitute of peace. i'm delighted to tell you. and i'm also pleased that everyone is here today for a very important -- to hear about a important project that has been sponsored. my job is to introduce steven heydemann. steve is the senior adviser for middle east initiative. he taught at colombia. he is published and directed if the senator for democracy and civil society at georgetown university. steve is terrific asset to the institute. the project is one that it driven by syrians. with assistance technical assistance and other kinds of assistance from the institute in a sister constitution in germany. it's very important that these kinds of efforts be driven by local populations. things that are handed down from the united states typical don't work all that well. and so we are very pleased that you're all here. i hope you have lots of questions. and steve, if i can turn this over to you. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for opening us this morning. and
or are they being more clear eyed in the assessment of it? >> they're being more clear eyed, jim. some private grumbling about jim lehrer. you're hearing some people say with the halperin quote you said, kind of downplaying the significance of this thing. most people made up their minds. you're hearing what mike mentioned a few minutes ago, people saying yeah, romney did well stylelisticly but not substantively. i can tell you on the republican side i'm sensing real confidence. the republicans are the first people to get in the spin room. they came pouring in with their placards during the closing statements. obama people came a couple minutes later much more aggressive. i've been trying not to just talk to romney campaigners and republicans not closely associated with romney campaign people like al cardenas, chairman of the american conservative union, rudy giuliani, not always a mitt romney fan. they're all telling me they really think the dynamic of the race shifted a little bit. we'll see how much. the spirit is high among republicans and it seems relatively authentic. >> james writes a pr
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